Tillman family came from England during early 1600s

Published 9:15 am Saturday, November 21, 2015


In a story on the Feagin family featured in this column about two years earlier, the writer had the Irish name as O Fandhagain, which is a widely disseminated typo.

The actual Irish is Ó Faodhagáin, pronounced roughly as oh-FEE-gan.

Somebody, somewhere, found the Irish but copied it wrong.

The root of the word is Aodh, a personal name meaning “fire” (Old Irish áed), the same as the modern first name Aidan.



According to Ancestry.com those who have researched the Tillman family, which has descendants currently residing in Covington County, have been able to go as far back as 1225. Johannes Tilghman was born in that year in Kent, England, where several generations of the family resided.

He had a son, Richardus Tilghman, who was born in 1250. Richardus had a son, Thomas Tilghman, who was born in 1290 and who married Joan Newman, born in 1291.

They had a son, Nicholaus Tilghman, born in 1350, who had a son, Richard Tilghman, who was born in 1400 and who married Dionysia.

They had a son, Thomas Tilghman, who was born in 1478 and who died in 1519 in Sussex, England.

(These records are from Ancestry.com, and there must be an error here, since Richard would have been 78 and Dionysia, 75, when Thomas was born.

There is most likely a missing generation here.)

Thomas had a son, Nicholas Tilghman, who was born in 1515 in Kent and married Mildred who was born in 1519 in Selling Parish, Kent.

They had Nicholas Tilghman Jr. (1540-1580) who married Jane Benson (1544-1614). Nicholas Jr.’s son, Christopher DeSelling (1566-1619), was married to Anne Pandeth Sanders (1572-1630), and they had Christopher S. Tilghman, born in 1600 in Kent and was married to Ruth Devonshire (1625-1694) in 1648 in Virginia, USA, where he died in 1673. This makes Christopher S. the immigrant ancestor of this line of Tilghmans.

Also, his son Roger Tilghman/Tillman is the generation which Americanized the name to Tillman.

Roger Tillman was born in 1650 Allentown, Va., and died in 1704 in Brandon, Penn. He was married to Susannah (1647-1717), and they had a son named George Tillman (1683-1756) who was married to Mary House (1683-1719).

These families all lived in various areas of Virginia, but the next generation began to migrate south. George and Mary had a son, George Tillman Jr., who was born in 1705 in Virginia and died in1780 in Granville County, N.C. In 1735 he married Judith Mason (1709-1735).

George and Judith had a son, William Tillman, born in 1736 in Virginia and died in 1786 in Georgia.

He married Mary Polly Farrow in 1768, and they reared a son named James Delaney Tillman who was born in 1778 and married Faith Ellison in 1800.

He died in 1854 in Texas. Their son, David Ellison Tillman, was born in 1795 in South Carolina and died in 1890 in Marion, Ga.

David was married to Rebecca Douglas (1803-1882), and they were living in Georgia when their son, Stephen James Tillman, was born in 1824.

They were residing in the southern part of Macon County, Ala., by 1860, just prior to the War for Southern Independence.

As many men in the rural South were at the time, David was a farmer.

Some records show he was back in Georgia when he died in 1890.

The above son, Stephen James Tillman, was born in 1824 in Georgia, but he and his wife were residing in Macon County, Ala., in 1860.

He was married to Martha A.K. Jackson (1826-1892) who was also a native of Georgia.

Stephen was a farmer, wheelwright and owner of considerable real estate.

He is possibly the Stephen J. Tillman who served in the Confederate Army as a private in Company I, 17th Mississippi Infantry Regiment. He was hospitalized in the General Hospital of Selma at one point during the war. If this is the above relative, he returned home and moved later with his family to Russell County where they finished rearing their nine children. He died in 1893 in Alabama.

Stephen and Martha Tillman reared the following 10 children: William Lafayette, b. 1846, d. 1909; Hardee Hill, b. 1849, d. 1914, m. Sally A. Lloyd (1839-1924) ; Robert Jackson, b. 1851, d. 1909, m. Louise J. Phillips; Sarah A., b. 1853, d. 1886, m. James William Cabiness; Stephen Joseph, b. 1855, d. 1932, m. Mary Tillman; Martha Jane, b. 1858, d. 1934, m. (1) John D. Craddick (2) Thomas Jefferson Nichols; Mary Elizabeth “Mollie,” b. 1860, d. 1937, m. (1) Henry T. Cabiness (2) Roderick N. Morrison; Morgan, b. 1863, d. 1940; Marshall, b. 1865, d. before 1870: and Emma Lucy, b. 1866, d. 1938.

The third son of Stephen and Martha, Robert Jackson Tillman, was married to Louise J. Phillips, and they reared two children: Rubie, b. 1876, and James, b. 1879. The oldest daughter, Sarah A. “Sallie” Tillman, was married to James W. Cabiness, and they reared two daughters: Ida, b. 1877, d. 1944; and Lillie, b. 1885, d. 1966. The next son, Stephen Joseph Tillman, was married to Mary Tillman, and they had the following three children: Minnie, b. 1880; Martha E., b. 1884; and Willie E., b. 1886.

The daughter, Martha Jane Tillman, was married first to John D. Craddick with whom she had a daughter, Minnie A. Craddick.

She was married second to Thomas Jefferson Nichols with who she had the following four children: Maggie Eugenia, b. 1881, d. 1966; Marshall Henry, b. 1887, d. 1917; John Tillman, b. 1889; and Luther Thomas, b. 1892, d. 1948. The daughter, Mary Elizabeth “Mollie” Tillman, was married second to Roderick N. Morrison with whom she had two children: Mary Lucille, b. 1895, d. 1965; and Charles J. “Charlie,” b. 1899.

The second son, Hardee Hill Tillman, was married to Sarah S. “Sally” Lloyd, and they reared the following children: Walter Emmett, b. 1873, d. 1956, m. Laura Lavenia Caton (1883-1970); Edward Lloyd, b. 1876; Marvin Pierce, b. 1878, d. 1965, m. Exie Dora Caton (1891-1975); Bonnie “Burney” Hill, b. 1881, d. 1947, m. Effie Lee Helms (1892-1985); and Leola Estelle, b. 1883, d. 1965.

Since there is considerable information available on Hardee Hill Tillman and his wife, Sally Lloyd, and her family, another column on them and their descendants will follow this one.

Sources for this writing included Ancestry.com especially for the earlier generations; a story, Tillman-Caton Family Histories, 1795-2008, written by Gary Wood, a descendant of these families; and family records provided by James “Bill” Tillman.

Anyone who might have additional genealogy or history on the Tillman or Lloyd family from Alabama or who may find an error in the above is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.